cindystark - clearing off the nightstand (THIS year is the year it happens!)
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#1 - all at sea by Decca Aitkenhead - some remarkably beautiful writing here amidst the tragedy; this one was NOT on the nightstand last year, but a lovely way to start this year's list
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised
I look forward to keeping up with you, Cindy, this year.
#2 Becoming by Michelle Obama - no matter your politics, this (First) lady can write; best book read in a long time
#3 Raising Blaze by Debra Ginsberg - mixed feelings about this one - deep subject matter, but the author is unlikable and makes decisions that don't seem like they would work for most parents
#4 Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris - written much like Orphan Train but with a touch of romance - not a bad winter read
#5 My Father' Wives by Mike Greenberg - picked this one up without knowing who the author was, and so glad I did. Could have used a bit more character development, but an interesting story line
#6 The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff -- an odd mix of fact and fiction, I read this thinking it was the true story, was disappointed to read the author's note at the end regarding how much was actually fiction. Now to watch the movie and do some more research on Lili.
#7 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - this first novel by the author of Gone Girl shows just how far Flynn has matured as a writer by the time Gone Girl is published; this one is creepy and dark but never quite hits the mark
#8 - The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan - this one had me murmuring hmmmmm for most of the book - still not quite sure
#9 Double Honeymoon by Evan S Connell -- finished this one only because I kept thinking that it just HAD to get better. Nope. Not a fan of the writing style, the characters, the story.
Looks like your reading year is off to a great start, Cindy! I need to make your goal for the year mine too. My nightstand is groaning under the weight of the books - and I have now taken over my husband's as well :)
My problem is that I add two new titles for every one that gets removed... Every time I discover a new author, it turns into a treasure hunt to pick up anything else they have written and the nightstand pile grows deeper...
#10 - The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble - this one was a very pleasant surprise; picked it up from the local library discard shelf ages ago because I loved The Reading Group - not sure why it was discarded!
#11 - Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo -- sweet and satisfying!
#13 - The Reckoning by John Grisham -- this one started out reading like vintage Grisham, but never really took off; almost written like two books with the chapters devoted to the war, and the ending was a letdown
#14 - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens -- it's a rare book that earns 5 stars from me; no hesitation this time. Heartbreakingly beautiful writing; just picked up a second copy to send to a friend, as I'm not sure that I can let my copy go...
#15 - The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll -- quirky and strange and utterly charming
#16 - The Bold World by Jodie Patterson -- I don't think that I have ever read a book quite like this one. Powerful and achingly raw. I raced through this one, but will sit and read more carefully a second time, as Patterson packs so much emotion into every phrase.
#17 - Room by Emma Donoghue -- this one took me a while; started it three or four times before it grabbed me but once it did...I was hooked.
#18 - land that moves, land that stands still by Kent Nelson -- while these characters are not always likable, they are compelling and tell a really interesting story of life 'out on the ranch'
#19 - When I Walk Through That Door, I Am by Jimmy Santiago Baca -- I became so caught up in this epic poem that I completely forgot that it was not autobiographical by the narrator. Regardless of your politics, this is a striking perspective on the immigration crisis of today. Tiny book that roars.
#20 - The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson -- my first book by Jackson, definitely won't be the last
#21 - American Wino by Dan Dunn - much more than a story about wine (and some serious NSFW passages!)
#22 - The Radium Girls by Kate Moore - utterly heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time
>28 cindystark: I completely agree. That one really touched me since I worked for about a decade with radiation sources, and the rules I lived by were a direct result of what happened to these women.
#23 - American Kingpin by Nick Bilton -- this started as my husband's book. We usually don't share many books - he's much more of a science fiction and fantasy reader - but after he finished this in four days, he handed it to me and said GO. I'm so glad he did - what a well written, fascinating story.
#24 - Mercury by Margot Livesey - an easy enough read but one that could get left on an airplane without shedding any tears
#25 - Disoriental by Negar Djavadi - this one was a surprise. It took me three tries to really catch on to the non-linear story format, but I am glad that I kept trying. Very interesting characters from a completely different historical perspective
#26 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - this was our community Reading Together selection. The author had to cancel her speaking event at the last minute, which was a disappointment. Would have been remarkable to hear her speak about this extraordinary book.
#27 - It's Not About the Coffee by Howard Behar -- no idea where I picked this one up, but pretty interesting reading about the business lessons learned by the former president of Starbucks
#28 - The Incomplete Book of Running by Peter Sagal -- as a non-runner married to an extreme runner, this was very interesting (and may inspire me to actually lace up my own shoes)
#30 - Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen -- AQ writes books about characters that you just want to be friends with
#31 - The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey -- I had no idea where this one was going but what a great ride getting there
#32 - Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews -- my husband bought me this for Mother's Day; probably not one I would have picked out on my own, but a pleasant surprise
#33 - The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller -- the other book from my husband for Mother's Day; a little too romance-y for my usual taste, but not a bad way to spend a rainy weekend
#34 - Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan -- nice, sweet beach read
#35 - The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig -- managed to read two in a row about bakeries - another nice read; the different time lines were interesting
#36 - Wild by Cheryl Strayed -- wow wow wow, now to rent the movie
#37 - The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas by Annie Jones --- a little silly
#38 - At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks -- classic Sparks, you always know what to expect with him
#39 - Good Man Hunting by Lisa Landolt -- okay, this was a mistake, thought I had picked up Good Will Hunting and wound up with a silly rom com. Not terrible but not what I was expecting!
#40 - Almost French by Sarah Turnbell -- as a former expat, this read very true
#41 - Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stadal -- no idea when I started where this one was going to end up, but kind of a fun ride
#42 - Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder -- loved this - great group of characters, interesting time line, I wish that Aganetha had been a real person!
#44 - The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley -- not my style of book at all, despite some really well written sections
#45 - The Seamstress by Allison Pittman -- another historical fiction, how did all of these end up on my nightstand? Well written with a Christian foundation
#46 - The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks -- hate when it takes me halfway through a book to realize that I've already read it...
#47 - The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller -- worth a re-visit
#49 - Shining Sea by Anne Korkeakivi -- this one was a Dollar Store find - and what a find it was. Loved the timeline as the story unfolds
#50 - Don't Look Behind You by Peter Allison -- super fast to read through, very entertaining
#51 - Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison -- even better than Don't Look Behind You
#52 - Best Friends by Martha Moody -- interesting mix of characters, not all likable but all compelling in their own way
#53 - House to House by Sgt. David Bellavia -- this was a tough read, quite graphic and not for the faint of heart, but very interesting
#54 - The Dudes Abide by Alex Belth -- bought this as a Kindle book, not realizing how short it was. Would have liked quite a bit more!
#55 - Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire -- had I not been stuck on a plane with this as my last Kindle read, I don't know that I would have finished this one. Very YA in tone, but not what I would want my own YA girls to read.
#56 - Eye of the Elephant by Delia and Mark Owens -- fantastic. Now to find their other books
#57 - Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes -- didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. What a fun read
#58 - Team Seven by Marcus Burke - surprised that this is a YA - very hard read
#59- Joy Road by Julie Evans -- I tried so hard to like this and I do admire the way she pulled her life around - but found the author unlikable and her writing style difficult to read
#60 - The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub -- packed with information, but slow and slogging
#61 - The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid -- still undecided about this one - some beautiful writing with characters that weren't always likable or relatable
#62 - The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg -- the dual time lines were confusing at times, despite the beautiful way that Berg writes
#63 - Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi -- first met Chef Kwame on Top Chef and have been a fan of his ever since. His voice really comes through this memoir. Hoping that he finds the success he seeks
#64 - The Color of the Sun by David Almond -- beautiful writing, altho the plot drifted all over the place and never felt really resolved
#66 - Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik -- this was buried at the bottom of the pile for far too long. Loved getting to know the Housewives
#67 - Good Grief by Lolly Winston -- charming, tragic, darkly funny
#68 - The Testaments by Margaret Atwood --- this is a compelling story that doesn't quite measure up to the Handmaid's Tale
#69 - This Life I Live by Rory Feek -- as a long time admirer of Joey and Rory, this was a wonderful book
#70 - Camino Island by John Grisham -- not JG's usual lawyerly thriller, and a little quick to neatly wrap things up, but a good read on a snowy weekend
#71 - Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin -- interesting method, told entirely in email exchanges, but it got a little creepy (incest-y?)
#72 - Life Moves Pretty Fast: The lessons we learned from eighties movies by Hadley Freeman -- very fun trip down the 80s memory lane and all of our favorites!
#73 - Swimsuit by James Patterson --- quick to read, thoroughly unsatisfying ending
#74 - The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle -- this one falls in the "don't judge a book by its cover" file -- the gentle cover does not give a clue to what is inside. Gripping and dark and beautifully written
#75 - The Guardians by John Grisham -- a great book to end the 75 book challenge! Classic Grisham, and he never disappoints.
Not one from the nightstand, but a new one under the tree.
Ready to start 2020 with another 75!
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